Boating Officer of the Year
First presented in 2000, the Marvin “Butch” Potts Memorial Award, known as the Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, is presented annually to the boating law enforcement officer who has made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement. The award program consists of three levels: state, regional and national.
Regional boating officers of the year selected
NASBLA is pleased to announce the regional winners of the Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. This award symbolizes the highest level of achievement among boating law enforcement officers in the U.S.
The selection process for this award began in January with NASBLA soliciting nominations for each state and territory boating law enforcement officer of the year. Next, each regional association of boating law administrators chose one regional award recipient, making that officer eligible for consideration for the national award. The national award recipient will be announced during the NASBLA Annual Conference this September in Seattle, Washington.
Conservation Warden Darren Kuhn, Wisconsin
Assigned to the Marine Enforcement Team stationed in Green Bay, Wisconsin Conservation Warden Darren Kuhn’s priority is to provide boaters with a safe and enjoyable boating experience while on the waters of the Fox River, Green Bay and Lake Michigan. He utilizes different enforcement approaches to ensure boaters are safe while on the water and instills the importance of safety through presentations to different boating groups, on-water and shore contacts with boaters, boat operation training to wardens and municipal water patrol officers, partnering with city, county and federal agencies and traditional law enforcement.
Warden Kuhn uses personal contacts to remind boaters of their responsibilities while on the water, including how alcohol influences boaters more dramatically while underway and local waterway hazards. He also utilizes the TV media to stress safe boating, giving nine interviews relating to safe boating practices.
Officer Jarrod Molnar, Florida
Officer Jarrod Molnar has worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for four years and is assigned to Okaloosa County. He has been around boating since he was a young boy, gaining much of his boating experience while growing up around boats and water where his father worked as a licensed captain. He also was a crewmember on guide boats while living in the Florida Keys.
Officer Molnar is an exemplary officer and admired by peers for his work ethic and boating law knowledge. He conducts himself as an ambassador for FWC and sees every day on patrol as an outreach opportunity in communicating with the public. Officer Molnar exhibits character, honesty, integrity, and is a true public servant in the protection Florida’s natural resources and both residents and visitors. He has great communication skills, which help him with his boating safety education efforts.
Deputy Todd Baker, Washington
Deputy Todd Baker of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has served the citizens of Clark County for the past 27 years. His jurisdiction—the Vancouver-Portland Metropolitan area—is surrounded by water on three sides and is home to 75,000 registered vessels and 100,000 paddlecraft. Despite the population and boating pressure, the county has experienced a low rate of boating fatalities—just five in the last 10 years.
Deputy Baker is a key leader in Washington’s Marine Law Enforcement Training Program. He is also an innovator in boating safety, leading Washington’s participation in WearIt! events since 2012 and participating in the annual Operation Dry Water Campaign. He is a founding member of the Washington-Oregon Pre-Boating Season Media Tours. He also created a boating safety website in 1997 that received an Award of Merit from the Water Safety Congress in 2000.
View list of State Boating Law Enforcement Officers of the Year.